Furness Premier League title race going down to the wire
On target: Matt Dean scored for FPL title hopefuls Croftlands in their 2-1 win over GSK Ulverston Rangers reserves JON GRANGER
By Steve Brennan
21 April 2017 9:02AM
THERE was a busy midweek programme with relegation scraps and title fights serving up some interesting results.
There was a full programme of Furness Premier League games on Bank Holiday Monday. The top two locked horns for the second time in three days as Kirkby drew 3-3 with Hawcoat Park Reserves.
In what was an excellent advert for local football, Hawcoat took the lead through young Frankie Ellis, as he scored Hawcoat’s 100th goal of their season, before Kirkby stormed into a 3-1 lead with goals from Matty Bruce, Paul Cleasby and Scott Watkinson. Park never gave up and two goals from Carl McKay saw the game finish 3-3.
Fellow title challengers Barrow Celtic lost 2-0 away to Vickerstown Reserves. Skipper Mike Imison and a last-minute Jackson Round penalty were enough to seal the points for the home side.
Croftlands are now looking strong candidates for the title as they beat GSK Ulverston Rangers Reserves 2-1.
Jamie Slater and Matt Dean scored for the Barrow Island-based side, who have plenty of games in hand, but it’s going to be a fixture nightmare for them in the coming weeks.
Holker Old Boys seconds lost ground on the chasing pack as they lost 3-1 away at Millom Reserves.
Veteran Andrew Woodburn continued his rich vein of form by scoring twice, with Dave Cooper grabbing the other. Steve Forbes scored Holker’s reply.
Britannia beat Swarthmoor reserves 2-0 with Liam Holmes and Chris Boardley on target.
Walney Island seconds boosted their survival hopes with a 2-1 home win against Furness Rovers Reserves. Kieran Sollaway scored both Walney’s goals, and Joe Bradbury replied for Rovers, who remain bottom of the table.
Furness Cavaliers Reserves are one place above Rovers and they were beaten 4-1 by Haverigg. Kyle Delves scored the Cavs goal, but John Chmiel (2) Luke Chmiel and Bradley Mayne all scored for Haverigg.
Teams had a quick turnaround as the FPL swung back into action on Wednesday, with Croftlands continuting their title charge after a 2-0 win against Walney Reserves .
The game was finely poised at 0-0 until the introduction of Martin Grundy at half-time.
The Kendal Town marksman scored one and had a hand in Mike Webster’s goal to give Croftlands a hard-earned three points in a game well refereed at short notice by Walney stalwart Gary Bassett.
Holker Reserves all but put an end to reigning champions Kirkby’s title defence with a 5-3 win.
Four games in seven days has taken its toll on the Kirkby squad, but they put up a terrific performance against a good Holker side who are now right back in contention for title as well. Steve Forbes (2) JP Stanway, Brad Hubbold and the returning Chris Wraighte scored for the Stags. Matty Bruce, Lee Tracey and Andrew Benson replied for Kirkby.
Vickerstown Reserves beat Furness Cavaliers Reserves 2-1. Veteran Tony Gooding and Scott McDonald scored for Vickerstown. Matt Hargreaves scored for Cavaliers who are another team suffering with injuries in the midst of a fixture pile-up.
Millom Reserves defeated GSK Ulverston Rangers 3-1. Dave Cooper (2) and Chris Wood scoring their goals.
Swarthmoor Reserves picked up a valuable point with an entertaining 4-4 draw against Haverigg. John Chmiel scored all four Haverigg goals.
Furness Rovers Reserves are at the foot of the table and they were beaten 2-1 at home by Bootle, Josh Jones grabbing the Rovers goal. In Division One, Barrow Wanderers beat Vickerstown A 2-1. Andy Forristal scored both Wanderers goals, and Mike Robinson fired home for Vickerstown.
In Division Two Britannia Reserves beat Bootle Reserves 5-0 thanks to a Ryan Jackson hat-trick. Dillon James and Owen Woodburn scored the other two.
In the West Lancs League Premier Division, Crooklands lost 3-1 at Thornton Cleveleys on Bank Holiday Monday. Dave Goude scored for Cassies. Tom Heywood missed a penalty with the game finely poised at 1-1.
Millom travelled to Garstang for a West Lancs Division Two match in midweek and came away with three points after a 1-0 win, Danny Pattinson scoring winner.
Holker Old Boys, under the new management team of Sean Mellen and Glyn Dixon, earned a point as they drew 2-2 away at Eccleshall. Gareth Smith and Jordan Brough netted for Holker.